Mo-vember (Or it would be, if Jim had started shaving)

I can’t believe it’s nearly Christmas. Seriously. Just over 4 weeks to go! Where has the time gone?  We are coming to the end of our 6th month in Bali and the time has just flown by so fast.  It is the first time since we left that I have really thought I would like to pop home.  Not forever mind, just for a taste of the cold weather, to wrap up warm, pop to the London markets and obviously to catch up with friends and family.  We miss you!!

The last month has been an adventure, with ups and downs along the way.  It started with a cold hard shock to the system when there was a (quite serious) motorbike accident outside our accommodation late at night. Thankfully, none of our friends were involved and fortunately for the 3 people who crashed, there happened to be some very qualified and experienced first aiders staying here who stepped in to lend a hand.  This was especially important as the health services here, despite being private, are not as quick to the scene as you would expect.  The private ambulance took over 60 minutes to arrive to what was, quite frankly, a very serious incident (despite the hospital being no more than a 15min drive) and so many lessons were learned.  Note to people riding scooters in Asia.  Don’t drink and drive. WEAR YOUR HELMET. Slow down! The laws of physics apply here too…..even when you are on holiday!

Rant over. Sorry about that.  It was a bit heavy. I thought long and hard about including it (I don’t want people at home to worry) but as this is a kind of diary and document of our journey, it seemed silly to omit it.   For the record, Jim and I rarely (and now never!) travel anywhere without helmets.  Jim also HAS to drive slowly as he has a nag (also known as health and safety Helen) sitting on his shoulder, reminding him to slow down if he gets too speedy! Poor Jim!

Our little house is full again, despite the whole resort quietening down.  Finally, I am not the only girl here! Horray! Belle and Silvy have joined the crowd, which is fab.  The boys are all super keen surfers (and body boarders), but none it seems, quite have Jim’s boundless enthusiasm for catching waves.  They have nicknamed him ‘Captain Frother’ due to his endless ‘frothing at the mouth’ excitement about surfing. I love it.  It’s actually a perfect description and I am pretty sure Jim loves it too (geek) despite his protests!

Apart from surfing (endlessly) there have been a few nights out this month.  It started with a girls 22nd birthday party at Bingin Beach, which we attended as our housemates Paul and Ben had been invited to DJ.  What was supposed to be a few quiet drinks mid-week, turned into an epic drinking session.  It totally crept up on us.  Before we knew it we were fully involved in (Jims favourite) the tequila shot train, spin the bottle dance offs, bum fights (don’t ask) and en-mass skinny dipping.  Whoops. Sorry mum.  It seems the Irish aren’t masters of tequila shot etiquette and Ray amused us all by CHEWING handfuls of limes before sinking his shot and throwing salt in his face. I think I’ll stick to the original version (I know, I’m such a bore).

Jim and I avoided the group trip to Kuta (thank goodness) as we felt we had been boozy enough for one week. Despite all our shenanigan’s in Bingin, the award for drunkest man and best ever drunken mistake had to be awarded on this trip out, to our friend Stu, who kissed a man. Or, as he would say in his awesome Californian drawl….I kissed a duuuude, duuuude. HAHA!  The latest of a line of drunken westerners to be duped by Balis Benchong’s (lady boys). Oh dear. But at least he took it well!

Since October, we have both become quite fluent in Geordie, which has been necessary for communicating with Paul, our born and bred Tynemouth neighbour. I’ll give you a quick run down of what we have picked up so far:

Bait = food, Darts = cigarettes, Tins = boobs, Feed = breakfast/lunch/dinner, Canny = means a whole manner of things apparently, including ‘nice’

Looks easy, but it’s pretty tough to decipher words between all the ‘Wey haye man’s’…..trust me.  I still speak better Indonesian than Geordie but I am pleased with my progress so far.

With all his enthusiasm, Jim has continued to improve and his surfing seems to have gone up a level in the last month, which is amazing.  Personally, I have come on a bit too, but I am still unable to properly ‘pop up’ on the board without using my knee, which slows me down. Grrrrrrrr!

In an effort to help me get over this ‘hump’ the boys wanted me to join them on a group surfing session for extra practice.  I usually avoid these as they can be hard work and the surf is usually a little too big for my taste (and weedy girls arms). However, on this occasion they reassured me repeatedly that the surf ‘was TINY’, I shouldn’t be worried about surfing at low tide over the reef and I should man up and get out there.

As we arrived it did indeed look pretty small and I was pretty excited.  We arrived at a lull in the surf.  The boys nipped out but Jim and I stayed on the beach for five minutes to chat with Belle.  This proved to be a mistake and our paddle out turned into a 20 min epic ordeal! Eventually we made it….see Jims wave above!  It was bloody massive, the biggest surf I have ever been out in and so I opted for the ‘sit and watch’ approach – sitting as far out the back as possible to ensure I didn’t get washed back in over the reef, much to the boys amusement. Fortunately the only battle scars I picked up were the ones from the paddle out, and I survived!

Tonight is Thanksgiving, so we are heading out with Stu to ‘eat a bird’ and celebrate with him.  As promised I have included some more pictures this time! Including evidence of ‘Ginger Jim’ or as Ben says ‘Jimger’! Genius!

Continued post Thanksgiving celebrations…..

We have got to stop drinking outside the ’69 Mart’.  Sitting outside a shop drinking beer is not something you should be doing at 32 years old.  That is all. (I did learn a lot about Cleopatra though – Thanks Stu).

So no more drinking for us! We are off the booze until Christmas now.  There is a big swell due to arrive tomorrow so we are off now for a surf before it gets too big for us!

Until next month!

Helen x

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